Friday, February 01, 2008
Offending the Audience
Of all the philosophical, anti-theatrical contradictions in Peter Handke's forty-year-old play Offending the Audience, director Jim Simpson may have achieved the best one by casting The Flea's young theater company (The Bats): they bring the talk of inaction to life in a wonderfully active way, trilling their lines, merging powerfully together as a Greek chorus, and looking extremely attractive in the process. I wasn't offended at all by the production; though some people may be unsettled by the eye-contact that most of the actors threaten to make, or by the stretches of silence and repetitious lines of questioning, I think that most audiences who "stumble" into this hip underground theater, to see a play that explains what it aims to do, are going to enjoy it no matter how hard anybody tries (not very hard) to make it otherwise. Extra credit to Annie Scott, who I found to be the most engaging (and no, not just because she's gorgeous, though sure, extra credit for that, too).